Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Ode to Himself
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
 
WHERE dost thou careless lie
  Buried in ease and sloth?
Knowledge that sleeps, doth die:
And this security,
  It is the common moth        5
That eats on wits and arts, and so destroys them both.
 
Are all the Aonian springs
  Dried up? lies Thespia waste?
Doth Clarius’ harp want strings?
That not a nymph now sings?        10
  Or droop they as disgraced
To see their seats and bowers by chattering pies defaced?
 
If hence thy silence be,
  As ’tis too just a cause,—
Let this thought quicken thee;        15
Minds that are great and free
  Should not on fortune pause;
’Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause.
 
 
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